The past few months have been rough for Blacklist International.
Last January, the team was aiming for its second consecutive M-series title in the M4 World Championships but had a shaky start in the group stage, losing to Falcon Esports twice, including the tiebreaker.
Despite the rocky start, Blacklist International managed to showcase its true form in the playoffs. They defeated RRQ Akira, RRQ Hoshi, and ECHO, respectively, to secure their second consecutive appearance in the grand finals of the world tilt.
Unfortunately, the Tier One-backed squad ran out of gas and was defeated by ECHO, the same team they had beaten in the M4 upper bracket finals and the MPL PH Season 10 finale. It was a sweeping victory for ECHO.
Four months later, the Tier One-backed squad prepared for another title defense in the MPL PH Season 11 against ECHO, marking their third-straight finals match-up.
Just like in the M-series, Blacklist International had another shaky start in the regular season but managed to breeze through the playoffs with a massive turnaround.
However, ECHO seemed to have Blacklist International cornered once again, as they achieved a dominant 4-0 sweep to claim the Season 11 title and dethrone Blacklist International once more.
With the losses piling up, Blacklist International expressed that they are focusing on their mental preparation for the 2023 Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Southeast Asia Cup, where another finals match-up against ECHO is highly likely.
“Siguro yung ano, aside sa in-game adjustments na kailangan namin i-improve, yung outside that siguro. Yung mental,” said team captain Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna.
“Kasi isa sa mga sobrang nakakadurog ng utak [yung] matalo ng ganung way sa grand finals. So isa na yun sa mga pineprepare namin. Personally, doon ako nagfofocus din ngayon,” she added.
Meanwhile, head coach Aniel “Master the Basics” Jiandani stated that if and when the team faces the same opponent again, he will ensure that the team is more than prepared this time around.
“Siguro ano, pinagaralan namin yung mga mali namin during finals kasi maganda yung run namin during playoffs. Nabitin lang so yun yung pinagaralan namin, inaadjust na namin siya para hindi na siya maulit,” said Master the Basics.
Blacklist International, aiming for its first MSC title, has been placed in Group D alongside Egypt’s Occupy Thrones and MPL Malaysia champion Todak.
The MSC 2023 will take place from June 10 to 18 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.